Friday, September 29, 2006

presenting my offer of services

Presenting my offer of services was the workshop I went to today- sounds quite naughty. Did you think I you think I had re-oriented my job search in another direction... No such luck, although I am sure that would have done wonders for my blog stats :-)

Actually the workshop that I went to today was for developing skills for interviews. Once again it was all the way over on the other side of Paris. I made a few disaterous choices on the metro this am- first mistake was that I got off the train too early, having not double checked my itinerary. Figured out my mistake pretty quickly but since the line was running badly, the next train wasn't due to arrive for 10 minutes; the second mistake was taking a train in the wrong direction. Yes, I drank my coffee this morning. I just don't think it makes any difference what I drink if it is before 10am, I am brain dead. So despite being super organized and getting out of bed on time, I arrived 5 minutes late. I am trying so hard to deal with my post-pregnancy habit of arriving late, cannot blame it on pregnancy hormones (or my favorite argument about the fetus eating the protein in my brain, really, I believe that this happens). I was never an early bird but I HATE being late. And I generally spend a lot of time moaning when someone else is late, which I can't do if I am always arriving 15 minutes late. So far, I am improving but have not quite arrived.

Anyways, the workshop was about trying to sell yourself, especially when you have to do a quick presentation. We did one exercise where we had to describe in approximately 3 minutes a successful project and the other exercise was a 3 minute sales pitch, so to speak. I had to leave early and so I didn't get critiqued on the second one, which disappointed me because my first presentation didn't give me much feedback. I would like to think it was because I was so awesome, except for the fact that my French was appalling and I didn't quite know what I was supposed to do. It just dawned on me that perhaps I was so awful that they didn't know where to begin. Gosh, glad I realized that now, or I would have been too embarrassed to finish the class. I mainly went with the hope of developing a better vocab for situations like this. But also, I feel that, as a foreigner, I am at a bit of a loss in interviews because I don't really have the cultural knowledge to understand the expectations, attitudes of the interviewer, and subtle undercurrents. It did help a lot in that respect. I know that French people give me a bit of leeway in things like this, since I am foreign, but I feel like my "eccentricities" are more tolerable if they are atleast within the structure of a normal French interview. I have a habit, in any situation, of just turning things on their head if I am getting a bit bored with the direction it is going.

I have come away from the workshop feeling just a little bit more nervous about my interviews next week. I have two scheduled and they are both with French companies. I think that this weekend I will have enough time to go through my CV and write up some "scripts" to address the stuff I learned this morning. But I also need to spend some time reading up on industry news. Ella only takes 2 hours of nap each afternoon and by the time she is in bed at night I am too worn out to get much done. Its going to take some real willpower to arrive prepared Monday afternoon at my first interview.

More importantly, I am starting to have some serious concerns about this going back to work project. First of all, I have gotten up at 7 for two mornings in a row and definitely do not like it. Secondly, if I feel tired now, how exhausted will I be after an entire day of work? Thirdly, I have done my budget based on my expected salary and I will only be able to spend 500 a month on clothes. All that work and only 500 euro of fun? Hmm. Not convinced.

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